Regional Forecasting Table, 2016: Central and South Asia
- 18 states, populations over 500,000
- Freedom Score & Freedom Status: Freedom House, Freedom in the World, 2017. (New York, FH).
- Median age: UN Population Division, World Population Prospects, the 2015 Revision. (New York, UN).
- Probability of FREE (model): Cincotta, R. “Demography and Early Warning: Gauging Future Political Transitions in the Age-structural Time Domain,” J. Intelligence Analysis, 22(2): 129-148.
Note: The Central and South Asia Region is a highly diverse but extremely irregular. The states in the youthful section of the table (which include Afghanistan and Pakistan) behave as political demographers might expect. However, only two states in the region are currently assessed as FREE (liberal democracy)–India, and Mongolia. While Mongolia has a small population (~3.0 million), and thus not unusual, it is somewhat surprising that a state nestled between China and Russia could politically liberalize without some interference from those non-liberal, often intrusive powers. India has a relatively long, but somewhat erratic post-colonial history with liberal democracy. It has remained at a “borderline” FREE assessment (Freedom Score of 2.5) nearly consistently since Freedom House began its survey in 1972, but “dropped out” twice (Indira Gandhi’s Emergency, 1976-78; and 1991-97).
Notably, most of the more mature states in this region were once republics within the Soviet Union. All of the former-Soviet states are currently assessed as PARTLY FREE, or NOT FREE. Georgia has made the closest approach to FREE. Its inability to govern two break-away provinces (Abkhazia, South Ossetia) make it difficult for Georgia’s political regime to improve its Freedom Score.